Allen Marine Tours, a day cruise operator based in Sitka, Alaska, has purchased three ships, including two former Cruise West vessels, and plans to start offering weekly cruises in May. The new company, Alaskan Dream Cruises, said it will emphasize the “True Alaska with True Alaskans” as it explores “the Alaska less traveled.”
The company has purchased three ships including the 78-passenger Spirit of Columbia and Spirit of Alaska, formerly owned by Cruise West. These vessels are being renamed Admiralty Dream and Baranof Dream, respectively. The company also acquired the former Executive Explorer catamaran, which previously was owned by Majestic America Line and Glacier Bay Cruiseline. The 40-passenger vessel will be renamed Alaskan Dream.
All three ships are undergoing renovation at the Allen Marine shipyard in Sitka. The company has built more than 100 vessels, including 19 for New York Waterways, said John Scheerens, operating manager for Alaskan Dream Cruises. The Cruise West vessels are “in pretty good shape,” he added. “We’ll provide that genre of travel to Alaska for people who formerly would’ve booked with Cruise West.”
Two ships will go into service in May, while a third — the Baranof Dream — will be kept in reserve for use by special groups and charters. The company will offer seven-night itineraries roundtrip from Sitka. “It won’t be a typical tour boat itinerary, but we’ll hit a couple of name recognition places like Juneau, Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm. But we’ll also go to Icy Strait Point and Hobart Bay, which is 95 miles south of Juneau,” Scheerens said. “There’s not much there other than a dock, but we’ll have exclusive access to that area. We’ll do outdoorsy things, such as sea kayaks, mountain bikes, ATVs, and small excursions on runabouts.”
Alaskan Dream Cruises will begin accepting reservations for the 2011 season in mid-November. Prices start at $4,500 and include shore excursions. A single supplement is available. Cruises will depart on Saturdays from May 14 through Sept. 3.
The Allen family, owners and operators of Alaskan Dream Cruises, are descendants of First Nations tribes of the Pacific Northwest People and members of the Kaagwaantaan Clans of the Tlingit people. The company said it will use sustainable tourism practices such as using local resources, green practices and procedures, use of organic materials and foods where practicable, and offering an educational component to our tours. Organic and locally produced products are used for guest room amenities.
Menus will feature locally caught wild Alaskan seafood and organic food product, including locally caught crab, halibut, shrimp, and wild Alaskan Pacific salmon. The company will offer local beer and alcoholic products. For more information, visit www.AlaskanDreamCruises.com.